Blog entries from August, 2007

Licensing my work

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007 at 09:49pm

A few days ago I finally got around to doing something about the copyright infringement I discovered many weeks ago: I asked the Commons Help desk and got a helpful response. However, before I uploaded my images to Wikimedia Commons under a Creative Commons license I wanted to actually have this site under the same license.

A few additions (HTML head, blog sidebar, page footer) later and I am now stating that all of the content on this blog and in my computer collection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

I also jumped over to my flickr account and set the license for all of my existing and future photos.

I think my next step will be to tag the photos in the collection, initially via the "Copyright" Exif metadata tag and then via XMP. Once I figure out what that is.

Scratch that. My immediate next step is to address the copyright infringement…

Tagged with: , , , ,

LED only bicycle lights

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007 at 08:07pm

A week or so ago I finally got around to doing something about my bicycle lights: first I bid on another Cateye HL-EL135. Shortly after winning that auction I also bid on (and then won) a Cateye HL-EL530 that is supposed to be stupidly bright.

Yesterday the EL530 arrived and it was a simple matter of swapping out my remaining 10W incandescent light as the mount for that one is compatible. Then tonight was the first time using it.

So how was it?

Althought it is bright, most of that is focussed on a small area that doesn’t compare to the coverage of the old lights.

One interesting thing I noted was although the front of the box said “up to 90 hours run time”, the side of the box clarifies that with “up to 10 hours headlight quality”. Allowing 30 minutes for a single trip home this could equate to 20 trips. A new set of AA cells every 4 weeks is a lot less effort than recharging batteries every single day.

Tagged with:

Scavengers are efficient

Monday, August 20th, 2007 at 09:06pm

Although I had itentions to cull my collection, I didn’t get very far. However, last night I did put a couple of items out for the hard rubbish collection.

Around 8PM I put out two old desktops (proprietary HP and Compaq units) that I had scavenged a couple of years ago. An hour or so later when I put out another two systems (the Pentium 233 that used to be Gromit and the Pentium II 266 that ran the network, served the intranet and played MP3s at our LANs) I noticed that the cases of the first two had been opened.

Then when I passed them on way way out this morning I saw that all four of them had been opened: people were checking out what components they had. The the later two they didn’t have much luck as I removed the drives (in case there was any identifying data), the RAM (might be usable in a Macintosh) and the CPUs (a friend collects them) before putting them out.

I am considering a bit of scavenging myself. I spotted a Powermac 7200 series system on my way home. If it is still there tomorrow morning I’ll have a look to see it it has an intact foot thing that is used when unfolding the case…

Tagged with: , , ,

dir /? > LPT1

Sunday, August 12th, 2007 at 09:56pm

Last week I picked up an IBM PC Convertible. Although I already had one in better condition, this one included the thermal/ribbon printer.

After refreshing my memory on how to pipe output directly to a printer and getting the thermal paper inserted the right way I was able to test it out. What should I do with a dozen copies of the help for the dir command?

Currently I am using it as a thermal printer that uses special paper. From what I understand, all I need to use it as a thermal transfer printer is to install the correct tape cartridge.

An interesting thing I noted when inspecting the printer is that the expansion slices are not as interchangeable as I thought. The clips are shaped in such a way that forces the printer to be directly connected to the unit with the serial/parallel slice attached to the printer. I suspect this is due to the much higher power requirements of the printer.

There are quite a few options for it but before I consider looking for any of them (except if they pop up on eBay in the meantime) I need to keep culling the collection which includes selling the PC Convertible. Without the printer of course.

Tagged with:

Answered: How to write tests for online applications

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007 at 11:12pm

Four years ago I wanted to know how to write tests for online applications. Tonights OSDClub meeting featured a talk that reminded me about Selenium, a test tool for web applications.

Although I had heard of it before, Simon’s simple demonstration made that light go off in my head. Now to work out how it could be used…

Tagged with: , ,

The PS/2s are gone (almost)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 07:20pm

On Sunday night the auction for my PS/2s ended and they are due to be picked up tomorrow.

While I still have a couple of items on their way inward, I really need to get a move on in culling the other bulky items in my collection. I need to have them sorted and appropriate items listed on eBay by the end of the coming weekend in order to be able to put them out in the hard rubbish if (for some reason) they do not sell.

Tagged with: , ,

Webates: Social ajax tables

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 at 11:01pm

Unlike my last attempt, tonight I went along to The Greate Webate. A Web Standards Group meeting that took the form of a series of mini-debates.

Since Gian was participating in one of the debates it was a simple matter of getting a lift in with her.

As for the meeting?

It was pretty good. Prior to the debates and afterwards at the pub I ended up talking to about a dozen people about various things. In comparison to the perl mongers meetings there was a variety of roles (not everyone was a developer) and, for the developers, a variety of languages (not everyone was using perl). I will definitely try to attend the future meetings.

Now for the debates themselves…

I disagree with Ajax Is The Future Of The Web as the future needs to be something that is more designed than evolved which should handle the inconsistencies and flaws. One good line compared Ajax with frames as they both started out as the shiny new technology that everyone had to use, but over time frames became a must not.

I also disagree with Online Social Networking Is Indispensable as there is a massive amount of people who don’t use them. While they may enable interactions that otherwise would be missed they are something that you can live without. A personal irritation is instant messaging and services such as Twitter. I don’t want to see your random thoughts. Spend a bit of time to write a meaningful paragraph or two and email it, blog it, whatever.

In contrast I totally agree with Tables Still Have A Place In Web Page Layout. As long as we continue to use a grid to lay out content there will be (some) places where tables are the most robust approach. As for the argument that there must be a separation between presentation and content: many of the CSS layout techniques require excessive div or span tags to work, they are presentation elements mixed in with the content…

Tagged with: